Hardening Off & Moving Hosta Seedlings Outdoors
Transitioning Hosta seedlings from indoors to the garden.
By Joshua Spece
Last revised January 22, 2008
Growing Hosta seedlings is a great way to help pass the cold winter months. By the time spring arrives, though, the seedlings may start testing your patience as you itch to get back out into the garden among their parents.
Also be aware of the sun light the tender Hosta seedlings are exposed to. Even if your seedlings were grown under high intensity discharge lights, they can easily burn outdoors. To help them adjust, first move the seedling to a protected area that is heavily shaded. Over the course of a few weeks, you can move them into brighter light. If the seedlings do burn, keep them well watered and they will grow a new flush of leaves within a couple weeks.
The First Winter
The first winter outdoors is an endurance test for your young Hosta hybrids. The weakest may not survive, which is good. We already have enough poor growers in the Hosta world.
Before winter arrives, you will need to decide how you will over winter your Hosta seedlings. With proper care or in areas with mild winters, the seedlings can be left in pots. Most hybridizers plant their seedling in the ground and often have designated seedling beds.
It is a good idea to get the seedlings into the ground well before the first frost. Frost heave can be a problem for plants that aren't able to send roots firmly into the ground before it freezes. A light mulch will reduce the risk of frost heave and help the young plants through the first winter.
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